The Psych Report

The Blog for the Psychology Program at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay

Category: Faculty News (page 1 of 5)

Get to Know Your New Faculty Member Dr. Joanna Morrissey

Image previewWhere did you graduate from?

  •  2005: College of Saint Benedict (Major: Psychology; Minor: Communication)
  •  2007: Ball State University (Masters of Science: Sport and Exercise Psychology)
  •  2012: The University of Iowa (PhD: Health and Human Physiology; Emphasis: Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity)

What do you like to study?

  • As a certified mental performance consultant I am interested in studying how mental skills training can enhance athlete, coach and exercise participants’ performance. I am also interested in studying how health behaviors impact overall health and well-being.
What got you interested in this area you focus on studying?
  • I have always been interested in human behavior and in particular what motivates people to engage in the behaviors that they choose to participate in. I have always loved sport and exercise so I combined my interests of sport and exercise with behavior and found the field of sport and exercise psychology. 
What is your favorite part of teaching as a professor?
  • I love when students catch on and are able to connect what we discuss in class to their own experiences/the real world. It is very gratifying to watch students learn to be critical thinkers and apply their knowledge both in and out of the classroom. I also enjoy supporting students’ development to help them achieve their academic, professional and personal goals.
What are you looking forward to with working at UWGB?
  • I am looking forward to being part of the building process with the Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology graduate program. I am excited to provide sport, exercise, and performance psychology experiences and curriculum to students so that they can be successful mental performance practitioners in their future careers. I am also looking forward to joining a strong Psychology department that provides a variety of learning opportunities for students. I am excited at the potential to add additional projects for students to gain hands-on experience with research and experiential learning opportunities.  
What are your hobbies or what do you like to do in your free time?
  • I enjoy all kinds of fitness hobbies! At the top of the list would be lifting weights, playing tennis and watching sports. I also enjoy reading, baking, and spending time with family. Now that I am closer to home, I will be able to spend more time with my nieces and nephews who have previously really only known me through Facetime! 

Get to Know Your New Faculty Member Dr. Todd Hillhouse

Todd M. HillhouseWhere did you graduate from?

  • Postdoc fellowship – University of Michigan
    Phd – Virginia Commonwealth University
  • MS and BS – Northern Michigan University
What do you like to study?
  • My area of study is Neuropsychopharmacology. The name of my research lab is the “Pain and Addiction Neuropharmacology (PANE)” because we work to develop novel treatment for pain and addiction. There is a comorbidity between addiction and depression which allows us to evaluate novel treatments for addiction as well.

What got you interesting in this area you focus on studying?

  • I have always found drugs interesting. Drugs can be used for “good” and “evil” which drives my interest. I like educating college students on drugs because it allows them to make an educated decision on what drugs they should and shouldn’t take.

What is your favorite part of teaching as a professor?

  • My favorite part of teaching is when I see a student experience the “aha moment”. That moment is generally followed by an increase in self-confidence. Additionally, I enjoy teaching students that are generally interested in the course or topic because they generate really interesting questions.

What are you looking forward to with working at UWGB?

  • I am excited to develop my lab and have students work on their own research projects. Additionally, I am excited to explore the possibilities of develop Neuroscience related course works (classes and/or a major/minor).

What are you hobbies or what do you like to do in your free time?

  • My hobbies include woodworking, playing with my two kids and drinking delicious beer!

What is Sport Psychology?

Have you heard of Sport Psychology before? Can you describe it? Did you know that the Psychology program here at UWGB had two sport psychologists on the faculty and a Sport Psychology masters program?

Let’s break it down…

Drs. Jana Fogaca and Alan Chu are the two Psychology faulty who are Sport Psychologists. They both work with students on research regarding sport psychology and they are the two in charge of the master program. Here is what they had to say about some further information on sport psychology for those of us who are fairly new to the topic.


  • How would you describe sport psychology?
    • Sport psychology focuses on the use of psychological skills to perform well
    • typically work with athletes, but the field has been expanding to work with other performers, such as musicians, dancers, surgeons, and pilots
    • Psychological skills include strategies like deep breathing, mindfulness, self-talk, imagery, developing a growth mindset, working well with others, being a good leader, etc
    • One nice thing is to use sport activities to teach these skills to kids. It helps them build their confidence and perform better at school and engage less in risky behavior.
  • What are the important aspects to know about the sport psychology master’s program?
    • The masters program is prepared to receive students who want to work in applied sport psychology (with the applied track) and who want to focus on research and pursue doctoral studies (thesis track).
    • We designed it in a way that the students will have opportunity to take all the courses necessary for the CMPC (certified mental performance consultant) certification.
    • We also have two faculty, Dr. Fogaca and Dr. Chu, who are certified and part of the list of approved mentors.
    • We also have great connections with the community and they are excited to receive potential interns and researchers from our program.
  • What kind of work is done with students in the sport psychology research lab?
    • RAs help with literature review, design, and may do some pilot data collection and analysis
    • “This semester, we are finishing up the plan for an intervention at the YMCA where we will use basketball and volleyball drills to teach psychological skills to the participants. They are helping me think about the drills, how to incorporate psychological skills into them, and how to communicate difficult concepts to kids. On the second half of the semester, they will help me implement the project and collect data.” – Dr. Fogaca
    • “For field experience, some of my RAs and I will go to several high schools in this areas to collect data on sport motivation, meet with coaches to provide suggestions, and deliver some mental skills workshops to athletes. For lab experience, we have been planning projects on the effects of novelty on motivation (in collaboration with Dr. Cowell) and gender and racial biases in sport (in collaboration with Dr. Fogaca) that will involve experiments with the use of physiological measures such as eye tracking.” – Dr. Chu

Faculty Video Competition

UWGB Psych Faculty created funny videos to illustrate and describe particular concepts in psychology. You can watch them below and vote for the winner before Wednesday, March 27th, at 8pm). You can vote in the poll on The Psych Report, on Twitter, and on Facebook.

Black Cat Magic (w/Dr. Kris Vespia)*

*Make sure to check out her blooper real below.

A Look at Ryan’s Brain: A Journey into the Neuroscience Lab (w/Drs. Cowell and Martin)

This is how I teach: Snow day edition (w/Dr. Georjeanna Wilson-Doenges)

LIVE from the Cwing (w/Drs. Holstead, Senzaki, and Cupit)

Vote here and at @UWGBpsych on Twitter.

[poll id=”52″]

Black Cat Blooper (w/Dr. Kris Vespia)

Faculty Research: Motivational profiles in table tennis players/Relations with performance anxiety and subjective vitality

Unknown-1Chu, T. L., Zhang, T., & Hung, T. (in press). Motivational profiles in table tennis players: Relations with performance anxiety and subjective vitality. Journal of Sports Sciences. doi:10.1080/02640414.2018.1488517

This studies focus was on what made up the motivational profiles of a sample of table tennis players, comprised of gender, country, training status, and their competitive level (from recreational leagues to international) as well as to compare, within the motivational profiles, the differences in performance anxiety and subjective vitality.

Faculty Research: Relations between sociocultural pressures and weight control behavior among early adolescent boys

Unknown-1Chu TL, Martin SB, Petrie TA, Greenleaf C. Relations between sociocultural pressures and weight control behavior among early adolescent boys. Psychol Schs. 2018;1–13.

This study examined the frequency of weight control behaviors in early adolescent boys based on ethnicity and grade level as well as the sociocultural pressures to try to lose weight, gain weight, exercise, and diet to see if that could predict WCB’s (or working cell bank).

Faculty Research: Motivational processes in Sport Education programs among high school students

Unknown-1 Chu, T. L., & Zhang, T. (2018). Motivational processes in Sport Education programs among high school students: A systematic review. European Physical Education Review, 24, 372 394.doi:10.1177/1356336X17751231

Within this systematic review, Drs. Chu and Zhang focused on the motivational processes in a Sport Education curriculum and found that through their theoretical frameworks­­—self-determination theory and achievement goal theory—Sport Education has a positive influence on motivation that is consistent across different environments, and that diverse educational settings need to be examined for possible differences in the impacts of motivation on Sport education programs.

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